On March 28, 2017, the City Council authorized the City to join the Statewide Communities Infrastructure Program, also referred to as “SCIP”. The financing is administered through a partnership with both the City and the California Statewide Communities Development Authority, also known as “CSCDA”, which is a joint powers authority sponsored by the League of California Cities and the California State Association of Counties. CSCDA includes approximately 367 cities, 56 counties, and 86 other local agencies throughout California, including the City of Banning.
If a property owner chooses to participate in SCIP, eligible public capital improvements may be financed by the issuance of tax-exempt bonds by CSCDA subject to the city’s approval. CSCDA will impose a special assessment on the owner’s property to repay the portion of the bonds issued.
The benefits to the property owner include:
· Only property owners who choose to participate in the program will have assessments imposed on their property.
· The program provides for low-cost, long-term tax-exempt financing for public capital improvements and development impact fees.
· For home buyers, paying for the costs of public infrastructure through a special assessment is superior to having those costs “rolled” into the cost of the home. Although the tax bill is higher, the amount of the mortgage is smaller, making it easier to qualify.
· Owners of smaller projects, both residential and commercial, can access tax-exempt financing of infrastructure. Before the inception of SCIP, only projects large enough to justify the formation of an assessment or communities facilities district (“CFD”) had access to tax-exempt financing.